If it wasn't for key holders, store managers and their assistants would always have to open and close the stores. Instead, managers train other supervisors at lower-level positions, known as key holders, to perform primary management functions, including opening or closing their units.
Managers trust key holders to carry out all operational procedures in their absence. Key holders open stores for employees, go to the bank for change and cash, and ensure that the registers are programmed with the latest prices and promotions. Key holders also assign tasks to employees, assist cashiers with complex transactions, help customers return or replace merchandise, and supervise cleaning sessions. These staffers also help cashiers close out registers and balance their drawers after stores close and prepare bank deposits for the next day.
Operational Experience Is Essential
Hands-on retail and supervisory experience, preferably a year or more, is of paramount importance to managers when designating key holders. Key holders must demonstrate their competence in all areas of operations, be trustworthy and dependable, and have excellent leadership, interpersonal and customer service skills.
A Pivotal Job for Advancement
In 2014, careerbliss reported average salaries of $24,000 for key holders. The explosive growth of online retailing has tempered job growth in traditional retailing. For that reason, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics only anticipates a 4 percent increase in employment for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers. Talented key holders can advance into assistant or general manager positions with five or more years of experience. They may need a bachelor’s degree in business or retailing to work for larger employers.